Reinsurance group Hannover Re posted a 2% increase in profit during the second-quarter, boosted by an increase in income from premiums and lower-than-expected-tax rates.

The Hannover-based group’s earnings were up at E150.8 million during the quarter ending June 30, compared with E147.9 million during the same period last year.

The world’s fourth-largest reinsurer also saw pre-tax earnings grow by 23% to E235.5 million compared to E192.2 million last year.

The reinsurance group, which sells backup insurance cover to other insurers to spread the risk of any major disaster, recorded a rise in gross premium income to E2.6 billion, up from E2.21 billion.

As with rival groups Swiss Re and Munich Re, Hannover’s results were boosted by a lack of large damage claims during the quarter, along with the high price of reinsurance premiums following the severe damage caused by hurricanes in the US last year.

Our result as at June 30 is a good basis for achieving our 2006 profit target, namely a return on equity of at least 15%, said Wilhelm Zeller, CEO.